New York City’s annual Governors Ball Music Festival took place this past weekend June 1 – 3 and with it came unforgettable performances, gourmet cuisine, creative activations, art installations and more. The festival anticipated an ugly weather forecast for the weekend and despite a few moments of torrential rain, the audience came prepared and the artists brought the heat.
Held on Randall’s Island every year, the Governors Ball has grown into a festival specially curated for New York City, featuring art, food and drinks from local vendors. This year was no exception with outdoor art installations from New York’s Baron Von Fancy and Lower East Side’s Gabriella Diana and balloon installations from Brooklyn-based artist Katie Balloons. Other activations that attracted the adult festival-goers included the Love, Tito’s Experience located in the Best Kept Secret area, for attendees 21 years and older only. The area included a bright Tito’s branded airstream, a full bar and an interactive Tito’s game station. Around the corner, neighboring the Bacardi Stage was the BACARDÍ® Bay two-story bar offering panoramic views of all of Governors Ball. Attendees were able to catch acts like Manchester Orchestra and Silk City (Diplo and Mark Ronson) while sipping on a tasty Bacardi Rum cocktail.
As far as performances go, Friday offered early afternoon shows from Pond, Two Feet and Maggie Rogers. Later on, a special appearance from pop sensation Shawn Mendes left everyone speechless. His 35-minute set was packed with hits like “Mercy,” “Stitches” and “In My Blood.” That evening, Yeah Yeah Yeahs tore up the main Gov Ball NYC stage while rapper Post Malone gave an inspiring performance at the Honda Stage. At one point during Post Malone’s set he even paused to ensure security was able to reach an audience member who needed help. Jack White closed the day with an epic guitar-heavy show, proving that his talent is unwavering.
Saturday was under a spotlight of the (very) warm sun for most of the day, allowing festival-goers to enjoy summertime vibes early on. Starting with New York-based VHS Collection, Los Angeles band LANY and Pennsylvania natives The Menzingers, the day was packed with back-to-back shows. Two-piece rockers The Japandroids crushed their set at the Bacardi Stage before Halsey nearly brought the entire festival to tears at the main Gov Ball NYC stage. When the powerhouse vocalist revealed that it was just four years ago that she signed her first record deal and made her way to attend Gov Ball, goosebumps washed over the entire crowd. That night, headliner Travis Scott attracted nearly the entire festival for a wild set while American rockers The Gaslight Anthem headed over to the Honda stage to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their album The ’59 Sound. The skies opened up and the entire festival was drenched with rain for several moments, but it only added to the excitement and the drama of the shows.
By day three, the sun had returned to Randall’s Island and music lovers were savoring the sounds of Quinn XCII, The Struts and Third Eye Blind early on in the afternoon. Newcomer and quick fan-favorite, Khalid, delivered an exhilarating performance with a special appearance by fellow Gov Ball artist, Billie Eilish for their song “lovely.” Chvrches and N.E.R.D. gave their all on the Gov Ball NYC main stage and Honda stage, respectively. But, the true show-stealer of the weekend was obviously Eminem, who with nearly two hours on the main stage, offered hit after hit. With special guests Skylar Grey and 50 Cent, the iconic rapper left the entire crowd in awe, proving that Shady’s definitely back.
Click through the gallery above for an inside look at Governors Ball Music Festival 2018.
Main image credit: Governors Ball Music Festival